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Old 11-24-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Reloading for 40 S&W

I have been reloading for little over a year now. I started with 9mm and had great success. I began with using 115 grain FMJ bullets behind 4.8 grains of Hodgdon HP-38 powder. Worked great!! Moved up to 5.0 Grains of powder with even better results!! I had great accuracy and no failures to fire, feed or eject.

I have recently traded my 9 mm and have since acquired a Glock 22 40 S&W. Great pistol. I am quite accurate with it, doesn't have much recoil and it feels great in my hand. I am more than happy with it!!! I received a massive amount of brass from another member and want to start reloading. I have the dies, brass, primers and have began resizing and prepping brass.

My question is what weight bullet to go with?? I have read conflicting articles on using 180 grain projectiles and pressure spikes due to the bullet being longer and sitting in the case a bit deeper. I am not trying to blow my gun or hands up!! I have the same two powders to use, Alliant Power Pistol and Hodgdon HP-38. I am only looking to load for target practice/plinking. Maybe a few hot loads for the impending Zombie Apocalypse


I have been looking at 155 grain FMJ bullets. The load data has them moving at about 1100 FPS with the HP-38 and 1200 FPS with the Power Pistol. This data is from the websites of both powder companies. I am just curious as to what others have gone with, the reliability of feeding and ejecting and the accuracy of bullets used.

Thanks in advance !!

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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I'm probably not much help, but I have been using 180 gr Cast & 165 Gr Plated w/ AA#5. Extremely accurate and reliable. I also got to messing around with 155 gr cast w/ Unique.
I think .40 gets a bad rap for being temperamental and dangerous. I suspect people who were pushing limits or failed in their due diligence. I've not had any issues, regardless of bullet weight. Though to be fair, I'm building plinking loads, so I tend toward the mild side.
As for pressure spikes & evil behavior, be careful. With the 180s I:
Keep toward the longish end of OAL.
Work up carefully with a medium or slowish powder (Power Pistol should be fine IIRC.)

If you have a misfeed, ensure that there was no setback before attempting to use that cartridge. .40 seems more susceptible to it and less tolerant of it than other calibers.
FWIW, I shoot a XD40SC & a 1911.

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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I have never had a problem with factory loaded ammo. Be it Federal, Remington or Winchester. They have all been great. All have been 180 grain also. I have used the Remington Golden Saber 180 grain and it felt a little snappier than an FMJ round. I tend to start on the low side of the scale just to be safe. I have been reading about reloaders using 135 grain bullets with mixed results of accuracy. They have started that the bullet gets to moving at about 1300+ FPS, but the accuracy was sub-par at best. I although don't know what powder charge was used either. I have read when some powder charges are pushed to the limits accuracy can suffer.

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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I am thinking that I cast a 170 grain bullet. I also use Berry's plated at 165 if I remember correctly. I have loaded them pretty hot too. No problems yet. I shoot them out of a S&W Sigma.

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Old 11-24-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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I was looking at the 165 Berry's bullets also. What type of powder are you using? I am going to be pushing them through a Glock 22.

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Old 11-24-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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Glock says not to use cast bullets. It leads up severely in that crazy rifling they use causing high pressures. I've loaded jacketed bullets for glocks with no problems at all. Also the plated bullets with no problems.

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Old 11-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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I use Titegroup for just about everything that is handgun. With a 165 grain bullet I like to use 4.6 grains. The Hodgdon book says that is 961 FPS. It is a little snappy. But not bad. I was wrong about my cast bullets. They are 175 grains. I have used a wide range of charges for the lead bullets that I cast. I have pushed the 175 up to around 1000 FPS with no problems. It is quite snappy though.

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Old 11-25-2012, 12:53 AM   #8
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I use hornady 180s. Have not had a problem. I use win231. Plinking load is 4.6 gr. My hd load are 4.9. Again both work great for me out of my XD

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:42 AM   #9
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Mud, use bullets for reloading that are the same (or close) weight as the bullets you intent to carry. HP-38 (or WW 231, which is what I have but essentially the same thing) will do nicely to give you very close to factory load velocities. All you really need is a load that will give you positive function (ejection and cycling) in the pistol.

If you use the higher weight bullets, remember to start at the bottom of the loading chart and work up. And there is no point is trying to load the hottest ammo possible.

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Old 11-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #10
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Out of my Ruger SR40 I use Hornady 180 grn XTP and Speer 180 grn tmj withTG and have never had a problem.

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